Beer: La Socarrada
Brewery: Premium Beers from Spain (Xativa, Spain)
Style: Spiced / Herbed Beer
6% ABV / 20 IBU
No lie: The actual name of the brewery is “Premium Beers from Spain.” The brewery is located in the Valencia region of Spain and its beers are a cut above the dull 4-5% ABV Estrella, San Miguel, and Mahou mold. It’s especially interesting to note that Premium Beers from Spain is producing 2 million bottles annually of its three flagship brews – La Socarrada, Er Boquerón, and the barrel-aged Toro. Spain, overall, has been slow to adapt to craft brewing – how do you penetrate a market where alcohol is the accompaniment to tapas and wine is essentially entrenched?
That’s the idea behind the “gastro ale” designation La Soccarda currently features on its bottle. This beer is meant to be paired with food, snacks, noshes, eats. On its own, La Soccarda is a pretty neutral template – a golden ale brewed with rosemary and rosemary honey where the rosemary flavor is extremely muted. It actually doesn’t taste much like a golden ale, either; its sweetness and caramel color are more reminiscent of a bock. Because it’s low on carbonation and kind of occluded (due to the yeast residue at the bottom of the bottle), it’s not the star of its own show. With pâté, an aged sheep’s milk cheese, some olives, basically some things that are sharp and some things that are rich on a charcuterie board, it’s a pleasant surprise.
For more info, check out La Soccarda here.